International Education

O'Dowd Hall, Room 328
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2889
ie@oakland.edu

Alex Zimmerman, Director
(248) 370-2843
azimmerman@oakland.edu

Meet the Staff



Alex Zimmerman 
Director, International Education
azimmerman@oakland.edu
(248) 370-2843

Alex has been OU's Director of International Education since April 2016. Prior to coming to Michigan, he worked for four years as Study Abroad Coordinator at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and for one year as Project Manager at an Islamic interfaith organization in New York City. His international experience includes five years in South America, where he taught English in Argentina and Peru and had a fellowship from the Rotary Foundation to study microfinance and entrepreneurship in northern Peru, and a year in the Middle East where he directed a study abroad program for American high school students to learn Arabic in Amman, Jordan. Alex holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Chicago and a Master of Arts in Middle Eastern studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He speaks Spanish, Arabic, French and Mandarin with declining levels of ability, and has also studied German and Navajo. He has studied abroad in 10 countries on five continents.
 Cynthia Weil
Assistant Director
weil@oakland.edu
(248) 370-2212

Cindy has been helping Oakland University students realize their dreams to study abroad and study away since in 2011 through promotion, advising, and direction. Her current role as Assistant Director and National Student Exchange Coordinator in the International Education Office was preceded by one year as OIE interim Director and three years as Study Abroad Coordinator. Cindy holds a Master of Business Administration from Oakland University, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Lawrence Technological University and Bachelor of Science in Journalism with a minor in German from Ohio University. Two undergraduate study abroad programs include German language immersion in Salzburg, Austria and Western European Business Study through seven countries. She studied German, French, and Russian languages to varying degrees. Nationally, Cindy has traveled to 46 of the 50 states and plans to notch the final four and U.S. Territories, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, in the very near future.
Shirley Smith
Administrative Secretary
campbel4@oakland.edu
(248) 370-2889

Shirley started at Oakland University in the Office of International Education in March 2008. Her primary responsibility is to provide clerical support to the director and his staff. Shirley is also the first point of contact for students who are seeking to apply for study abroad or study away, scholarships, or to make an appointment with an OIE staff member. Additionally, she provides support by answering questions and directing students to appropriate campus resources. Shirley comes to OU with more than 20 years of experience in the administrative field.

image of a woman in a hat, showing only her face with a domed building in the background

Joanne Tarling
Program Assistant/Front Desk Manager
tarling@oakland.edu

Joanne started at Oakland University in November 2017. She sits at the front desk in the Global Engagement Office and works to support the many diverse remits of the office. Joanne holds a Bachelor of Arts in French Studies from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, and has lived and worked in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the Netherlands before settling in Michigan.

image of Katerina Mihailidis standing in front of a bridge and castle

Katerina Mihailidis
Student Adviser
kdmihailidis@oakland.edu
247-370-4505

Katerina grew up in Greece, on the island of Crete with a home among fields of olive trees and grape vines. She moved to Michigan in the fall of 2015 to begin her undergraduate education at Oakland University. A senior now, she is close to graduating with degrees in Journalism and French. She studied abroad the summer of 2017. Passionate about traveling and writing, she visited Angers, a beautiful city in France, to write about the people she met. Fluent in Greek and English, as well as proficient in French, she hopes to get involved in interpreting and translating in the future. She uses her free time to travel… to neighboring cities to discover lovely coffee shops, to other states on road trips with friends, or to other countries to see the wonders of the world.